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Old 11-12-2010, 12:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine off, lights on...

Do most of you (with ICE only vehicles) who engine off coast do it at night? I have really good coasting opportunities, being as most of my local driving is hilly, but I`m hesitant to shut down the engine when I need my lights. I don`t THINK it would hurt anything for short (under five minutes) coasts, but I`m not sure.

Also, I`ve seen a few mentions of danger involved in engine off coasting. I`m curious- is it considered to be more dangerous to EOffC with ignition on even in a vehicle without power steering and brakes?

EDIT: My vehicle doesn`t have a voltmeter. I`m guessing that might be the deciding factor in whether of not it`s reasonabe to kill the engine with the lights on.


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Old 11-12-2010, 01:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I usually don't EOC at night. My lights dim quite a bit and it's annoying/dangerous. Maybe if I lived in the middle of nowhere I would, but at least with what my commute used to be, I don't find it to be a terribly big sacrifice.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdesj View Post
I`m curious- is it considered to be more dangerous to EOffC with ignition on even in a vehicle without power steering and brakes?
Check out how your car behaves with the engine off, in a safe environment.

I've tried engine-off-coasting, and while I could get used to the lack of power steering, the brakes quickly got rock hard even at low speed and the car barely stopped. It's that bad that engine-off-coasting is out for me.

Coasting with the engine on isn't that bad.
If the engine uses 1/4 gallon/hour, you're still getting 40mpg @ 10mph.


Depending on how your car's light switchology works when stopping and cranking the engine, it can get very inconvenient and put a lot of cycles on the lights which will wear them out faster.
My lights go out when quiting the engine, so I need to turn the ignition to pos II to bring them back on for legal and safety reasons, then the lights go out again while cranking up.
So every engine stop adds 2 cycles to the bulbs.

As a result, I keep the engine idling at night.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks, guys.
"My lights dim quite a bit and it's annoying/dangerous."
Sheesh! As obvious as that sounds, I hadn`t even considered that mine probably would too. I think I`ll try it some time just to find out, but I imagine I`m better off just keeping the engine running at headlight times.

"I've tried engine-off-coasting, and while I could get used to the lack of power steering, the brakes quickly got rock hard even at low speed and the car barely stopped."
I don`t have power steering, and if my brakes are affected, I haven`t been observant enough to notice. Thanks for bringing that one up, though. I`ll make it a point to pay extra attention next time I get an extended EOC. I`ll try mulitple brakings to see for sure how my truck reacts. I read somewhere that power brakes often (always?) have some kind of reservoir that lasts a few stops without being replenished. Not sure if I`ve been braking on that reservoir or if there`s no power assist at all in my brakes.

"Coasting with the engine on isn't that bad."
No, not at all- it`s just that I recently found out coasting with the engine off is so much FUN!
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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EOC at nite

I do EOC at night. My lights do dim somewhat, but are still plenty bright enough for me to see. My top speed in my commute is only about 45mph and usually 35 mph. My longest coast is only about 3/4 of a mile. I've been doing this for over a year with no problem starting or anything else (I do usually bump start).
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Im in it as much for the novelty and experimentation as you are at this point. I've done some short EOC lights on coasts (1-3 minutes), but noticed that if the hill is long enough and steep enough for longer coasts, I'm running out of brake vacuum anyway. For my car, I get 1-2 strong brakes after going EOC, 1 moderately good brake, then it takes a lot of work to brake. Given that night is the time with the most wildlife and my vision is the most limited, that's just not the time I want the weakest brakes.

I still want to go to LED tail and brake lights, LED daytime running lights and HID headlights in the long run, but only after I've added a PVC vacuum reservoir and electric vacuum pump. Even still, it's only going to get me through spring and fall commutes; dead of winter I need heat for a clear windshield and comfortable driver.
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do some EOC at night, I have HID's so I only draw 70 watts for lights not 110. I see no dimming but I can tell the alternator is making up for it when the engine comes back on. I try to reduce my EOC at night but if I have a good opportunity I will use it
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I installed a kill switch primarily so I could EOC at night (the key switch turns the headlights off). My kill switch is a toggle that disconnects the (single) injector ground, so if I'm on a long downhill, I can leave it turned off, and still have engine braking & vacuum. My car doesn't DFCO below about 45mph.

I'm about to pull the power steering pump, so the lack of power steering is no problem
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I do eoc at night. I have an onboard trickle charger that I plug in overnight to make up for the lack of alternator charging.

I'm not willing to take a ~25% mileage hit by leaving the engine running. I'll take the ~2% extra in electricity cost instead.

My lights stay lit all the time. I'm not sure I would do it if they blinked every time.

You need a voltmeter.

Brakes - I have 4 good pumps before the boost runs out. If I know I've used three of those, I'll do a quick bump-start and shut down again to restore the boost. Even if/when it runs out, I can stop the car. The brakes themselves work the same, it just takes more effort on the pedal to get the same result.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One question- How do you turn the engine back on? Turn the key again, or just put it back into gear?

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